Earth Day 2020; 50 Years of Overlooking Fossil Fuels

Written by DEPA Marketing and Communications Director, Cynthia Simonds

Earth Day 2020 celebrates fifty years of taking time to consciously recognize the wonder, beauty, and bounty of our planet.  For each of those fifty years, Earth Day has overlooked one of the most amazing natural wonders- the oil and gas given to us from the earth. Fossil fuels are as natural as mountains, streams, trees, and rainbows.  Why are these resources villainized?  Especially during Earth Day. These unsung heroes of the current pandemic are providing lifesaving, everything.  The list is enormous. It starts with the electricity that runs every ventilator and mask making sewing machine; it includes the plastic that creates every face shield and latex glove. The list includes the fuel that propels every semi-truck down the empty highways to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer to grocery stores shelves.  It doesn’t stop at your front door.  It produces the TV, computer, and cell phone components keeping you informed, entertained, close to your loved ones. For many of the lucky, this same technology is keeping them employed during this quarantine.  It fills homes with synthetic materials to wear, sit on, and sleep in.  It has made this quarantined Earth Day bearable.  Fossil fuels would never brag, but they offer more versatility to create modern comforts than probably any other natural resource.  (No disrespect water, wood, air, and plants.)

The oil and gas community is full of people who appreciate, respect, and celebrate our planet’s natural wonders.  In our ranks are hikers, cyclists, hunters,
gardeners, animal lovers, and recycling enthusiasts.  Without a poll, I’m confident that one hundred percent of the oil and gas community enjoys breathing, drinking clean water, and partaking in healthy crops as much as any other person.   Fossil fuels, and the people who develop them, are not an enemy of the earth, despite the drumbeat of Greta and her Gen Z followers.

This Earth Day 2020, while we “distance celebrate” the bounty of Mother Earth’s resources, let’s include the industry that has offered the life connection to keep our world functional during this pandemic. Let’s put down the drums and offer a tip of the hat to the industry, literally, saving lives every day by the ingenuity and “petropreneurship” of its people, and a nod to the natural resource that gets scowled at most all the while being an essential part of modern life.